I have taken my pads off by myself many many time for both the Ether C and the Ether Flow. The trick to insuring the drivers don't bang each other is simply how you hold the headphones. Here are some pics on how I hold them, when removing the pads. Notice I always keep the drivers separated by the back of my hand / arm. Putting them on can be a little more tricky but the same idea holds true.. always separate the two drivers with the back of your hand/arm.